15 January 2018

Monday Tidbits for January 15: More New Year's Fun

We are not done with the royal New Year's festivities, but first, a documentary update:

--The Coronation documentary, featuring commentary from Queen Elizabeth II herself on her coronation, aired for the first time last night. Highlights and chat are over at the Vault. Also over at the Vault: a splash of purple and pink on the way to church, with a sneaky ruby brooch.

--Luxembourg's grand ducal family held a New Year's reception last week. I get that Stéphanie pulled the black accents from the dress, but still would have loved to see something less heavy. [Facebook, via Luxarazzi]
Cour grand-ducale/Claude Piscitelli

--A shiny Queen Mathilde joined King Philippe for a New Year's reception for European institutions at the Royal Palace, wearing a repeated Natan ensemble.
Belgian Monarchy

--The Japanese imperial family held their traditional New Year's Lectures and their traditional New Year's Poetry Reading last week, both with a dress code of long day dresses and hats for the imperial princesses. The Lectures this year were a special treat, because Crown Princess Masako attended for the first time in 15 years (after withdrawing due to her illness). [Imperial Family of Japan Blog]
Crown Princess Masako, Princess Kiko, and Princess Mako at the Lectures
ANN screencap

Coming up this week: More of your 2017 favorites revealed...

Tidbits is your spot for royal topics we haven't covered separately on the blog, all week long. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy!

12 January 2018

Readers' Favorite Outfits of 2017, Day Division: The Results, Part 1!

You voted for your favorite outfits of 2017, day and evening division, just before the calendar flipped over. Now, finally, it's time for the results. We're counting down your top 10 favorites from both divisions!

We're starting with your favorites from the day division, part 1:

#10. Queen Letizia at Spain's National Day in Felipe Varela
House of HM the King
A perfectly classic royal outfit which could have appeared on a young QEII or anyone else from then until now, Queen Letizia's suit and surprising royal accessory (a brooch! In traditional brooch position! On Letizia!) just slide onto your top 10 list in the bottom spot.

#9. Princess Sofia at Prince Gabriel's Christening in folk dress
Erika Gerdemark/Kungahuset.se
A traditional outfit of a different sort that also doubled as a big royal surprise takes the next spot, with Princess Sofia's choice to wear the traditional dress of Ă„lvdalen - a dress reportedly made by relatives - to her son's christening.

#8. Crown Princess Victoria in a Birthday Portrait
Erika Gerdemark/Kungahuset.se
Crown Princess Victoria looked like a boss in her 40th birthday portraits, the simple white shirt and white trousers perfectly portraying a princess at work and complementing the sleek backdrop of her home, Haga Palace.

#7. The Duchess of Cambridge at the V&A in Gucci
Embed from Getty Images
The cute mod flair of this Gucci day dress lands the Duchess of Cambridge, one who had an awful lot of potential contenders for the day division, on your list.

#6. Queen Letizia at the UNICEF Awards and Peru Visit in Carolina Herrera
House of HM the King
Letizia's second spot on the list goes to this flippy and fun summer dress from a designer that always serves her well, Carolina Herrera.

Will anyone else hit the list a second time? Stay tuned next week to find out...

11 January 2018

Tiara Thursday: A Fife Tiara Update

When the Fife Tiara took home the #2 spot in your Favorite Tiaras Rematch, I noted that it had achieved its tremendous popularity despite scarce appearances and hardly any public exposure. Well, following news that dropped in December – while we were in yearly review and holiday mode (thanks to those of you that contacted me about it!) – that’s about to change. The Fife Tiara has changed hands, and it looks like you’re going to be able to see it in person.

The Fife Tiara
Quick recap first: The Fife Tiara was an 1889 wedding gift to Princess Louise of Wales, the oldest daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, from her new husband, the Earl of Fife (who was made the Duke of Fife by Queen Victoria right after the wedding). The tiara has diamonds mounted in silver and gold and the design is dominated by a series of pear-shaped diamonds that hang freely in a Gothic-inspired diamond framework. More large pear-shaped diamonds alternate with round diamonds along the top of the tiara. The design is attributed to Oscar Massin because an identical design was included in an 1878 display of his work.

Princess Louise
The Fife Tiara passed to Princess Louise’s eldest daughter, Princess Alexandra, and she, as Duchess of Fife in her own right, wore it to the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937. Alexandra was predeceased by her own son, so the title – and the tiara – passed down to her nephew, James Carnegie, the 3rd Duke. The tiara stayed within the family, though there’s really just about one public example of it in use in recent decades.

The Fife Tiara
Sotheby's/UK Government
And here’s the 2017 update: The Fife Tiara has been given to the U.K. government as part of the Acceptance in Lieu scheme and will be displayed at Kensington Palace! The Acceptance in Lieu program enables taxpayers to transfer important works of art and heritage objects into public ownership while paying Inheritance Tax; the 3rd Duke of Fife died in 2015. The government’s report on items accepted in 2017 (excerpted above and below; the full PDF is here) notes that the Fife Tiara was accepted as “pre-eminent under the second and third criteria” for assessing objects offered, which means that it was determined to have “especial artistic or art-historical interest” and was of “especial importance for the study of some particular form of art, learning or history”.

The government feature on the tiara
The government has now permanently assigned the tiara to Historic Royal Palaces, which manages Kensington Palace and other palaces, for “retention and display at Kensington Palace in accordance with the condition attached to the offer.”

The Fife family is also assumed to be in possession of another major tiara, Queen Victoria’s Emerald and Diamond Tiara. Which is interesting, considering this recent tweet from Historic Royal Palaces:


That would be sight to see, if we're talking about the real deal and if it might be shown at the same time as the Fife. We'll see what happens.

10 January 2018

Royal Outfit of the Day: More Semi-Casual for Meghan

And now for a brief check in with these two cozy lovebirds:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited Reprezent 107.3FM in Brixton yesterday.
Embed from Getty Images
Literally cozy here, as the pair are once again winning at the coordinated coat game. It's another Canadian coat for Meghan, from Smythe, paired with a top from Marks & Spencer, trousers from Burberry, and a scarf from Jigsaw.

Kensington Palace
Meghan's once again winning at the semi-casual royal game in this page taken straight from the Things Seen in a, Like, Regular Workplace catalog. It's nice to see a wider leg trouser, and the lightly messy bun keeps it from getting too formal. Like it right down to the tortoiseshell heels.

09 January 2018

Tuesday Tidbits for January 9: Jewel Heists and Picture Highlights

HELLO. It's been a minute since we tidbit-ed together. Let's see if we can remember how it goes:

--Here are two sweet photos of Princess Charlotte, taken by the Duchess of Cambridge to commemorate Charlotte's first day at the Willcocks Nursery School yesterday. (And also, I assume, to commemorate her first contribution to our Royal Coat Museum.)
The Duchess of Cambridge

--I'll buy a ticket for the movie adaptation of this jewelry heist: A pair of jewel thieves pulled off a daring burglary in Venice, stealing earrings and a brooch from the Treasures of the Mughals and the Maharajahs exhibition before disappearing into the crowds. The pieces are from the Al Thani Collection, which is owned by Qatar's ruling family and is regularly displayed around the world. [Guardian]

--In more photo news, new portraits of Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent of Denmark were released. The twins celebrated their seventh birthday yesterday.
Jens Rosenfeldt

--Aww, good news: Zara and Mike Tindall announced they are expecting their second child! The baby will join daughter Mia, who turns four later this month. The couple lost a baby after announcing a pregnancy in 2016. [BBC]

--The annual television programs remembering the royal year the Scandinavian monarchies always present us with a few never-before-seen goodies. Case in point: King Harald and Queen Sonja's big 2017 birthday banquet featured their grandkids interviewing some of the royals in attendance, and it's super cute. (Turn on the closed captions for English, and check out Scandinavian Royalty's YouTube channel for the 2017 documentaries and more.) [YouTube]

--Over at the Jewel Vault: I published my big yearly wrap up of QEII's jewels, including my tally of which brooches were worn most often. There's also an alert for a new documentary on the coronation, featuring the Queen herself and one massive brooch.

--And finally, taking a cue from 2017's bests to get a jump on her list of potential 2018 bests, Crown Princess Mette-Marit indulged in the power of a fab red dress at a sports gala this weekend.
Embed from Getty Images

Coming up this week: Time to start digging into the results of your 2017 Favorites vote, plus an update on a fan favorite diadem...

Tidbits is your spot for royal topics we haven't covered separately on the blog, all week long. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy!